OUR STORY

The origins of Pachuj begin in the second half of the 19th Century. Its name, whose origin is C’aqchikel-Maya, means “Pa” > place and “Chej” > of mist, resulting in “place where the mist joins the highlands”, because it is located between the border of the highlands and the piedmont, where the forest type changes. This was how don Eduardo Díaz Barrios named the plot farthest from the beautiful coffee farm Pampojilá, located on the slopes of Volcán Atitlán, a few kilometers from the town of San Lucas Tolimán, in the territorial division of Sololá. Private Natural Reserve and Coffee Farm Pachuj, established in 1986, was originally part of the estate of Pampojilá, which was formerly called El Porvenir. El Porvenir was first recorded by Mr. Manuel Diaz Anleu Barrios and his wife, Monica Diaz, in the mid-19th Century. Since then, the farm has been owned by five generations of the same family, under different names, Hermanos Díaz, Eduardo Díaz Barrios & Cía Raphael Díaz. In 1986, it was split into several farms, one of which is Pachuj, whose owner is the company Pachuj, S.A. belonging to the Fahsen Rosales family (fourth and fifth generation of the Díaz Barrios family).

Pachuj was originally a coffee farm, but there have been fruit and corn crops in the past. The beautiful coffee trees are located at 1,500-1,700 mts above sea level, which has helped produce between 1250-1500 quintales of high-quality green coffee: Gourmet-strictly hard bean - Traditional Atitlán Origin, which won first prize and a gold medal for quality in 1939. This award was obtained when the farms Pachuj and Pampojilá were still one property.

Today, the coffee production in Pachuj has been focused on growing technified quality coffee. During 19 years since year 2,000, our farm got certified under the Rainforest Alliance® seal, with which the farm has been awarded new awards in March 2004 and 2005 for producing high-quality gourmet coffee, in harmony with the environment and respecting its employees, the wildlife and the surrounding communities. Also, as of 2006, Pachuj belongs to the C.A.F.E. Practices Program from Starbucks Coffee Co. Both programs’ vision is the four pillars of the “sustainability” concept, with which the Fahsen Rosales family fully identifies itself:

1) Social and cultural responsibility to its employees and members of the surrounding communities;

2) Product quality;

3) Responsibility for the management of natural resources by promoting development in harmony with the environment, and

4) Economic and financial transparency with all those involved in the operation of the company.

For this vision, the Fahsen Rosales family is fully committed to transforming Pachuj into an organization with high growth rates and profitability within a philosophy of respect for the environment and sustainable development through strategic planning drawing on these four pillars.

The company has managed the introduction of other crops, such as izote, k’ip and giant bamboo. Studies on birds (Centeno, 1999), reptiles (Campbell, 1998), and medicinal plants (like zarzaparrilla Smilax sp, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, 2003) have been carried out in the Reserve. In addition, we have made efforts in the field of ecotourism, whereas the Reserve currently has a management plan focusing on ecotourism, developed by FIIT in 1998.

In 2018 we started working a new plot named Patzibir (“Pa” > place and “tzibir” > trees of zibir) to the north east of the original farm with 75 manzanas total and 67 manzanas of coffee. The cup of this area is slightly a quarter of a point (SCA) higher than our average because of its rocky and volcanic soil. 

 

DATASHEET

Name: Pachuj

Trade name: Pachuj, S.A.

Region: Traditional Atitlán

History

1997: Recategorized as a Private Natural Reserve (Decree No. 64-97).

1996: Recorded as a Private Natural Reserve before the National Board of Protected Areas (Ruling No. 31-96)

1955: Declared a protected area

Location:

Km. 152.4 of Ruta Nacional No. 11 in the village of Pampojilá, Municipality of San Lucas Tolimán, territorial division of Sololá, Guatemala, C.A. (part of Reserva de Usos Múltiples de la Cuenca del Lago de Atitlán –RUMCLA-, and located within the Madre Vieja river basin).

GPS Coordinates: Longitude: 14°36'43.36"N Latitude: 91° 8'32.07"O

Borders and Boundaries: Bordered to the North and East by Reserva Natural Privada Pampojilá; and to the South by Santo Tomás Perdido farm. To the West by Volcan Atitlan and Toliman

Access:

a) Traveling along Carretera Interamericana (CA-1), at the turnoff to Godinez, accessing Ruta Nacional No. 11 towards San Lucas Tolimán (distance of 146 km)

b) On the road to the south coast (CA-2), upon reaching Cocales, turning right (North) to take Ruta Nacional No. 11 (distance of 158 km)

On Km 152 on Ruta Nacional No. 11 the entrance to Reserva Nacional Pachuj 

Elevation: 1,475-1,650 meters over sea level

Products and Services: Arabica type Strictly Hard Bean Gourmet Coffee, Bamboo, Izote, Pacayina, Honey, Adventure and Nature Tourism, Environmental services.

Coffee Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuaí and Pacas.

Topography, Geomorphology and Soils Because:

It is located in the foothills of Atitlan and Toliman volcanos. Within exists geological material: Tertiary: TV volcanic material, b) Quaternary: Op. Pumice, and c) Qa. Alluvium.

The soil is deep sandy loam with stony volcanic landslide areas. Solid classification III, IV, V, VI and VII of the Tolimán, Atitlán series.

Climate

The rainy season is from late April to late October.

Micro Climate Temperate

Temperature 8˚C Minimum and 28˚C Maximum

Wind Prevailing South, Southeast

Annual Rainfall 1,800-2,500 mm

Extension: The nature reserve consists of 10 hectares, including 56 hectares for crops. This area is spread over natural forest and shaded coffee cultivation (56 hectares), distributed as follows: under natural forest shade (21 hectares) and under “Chalum Inga Supira” shade (45 hectares).

Features: The farm has a coffee plantation. Bromeliads were planted previously, but now there are several species of bamboo and ornamental plants. The latitudinal range goes from 1,400-1,700 m. This makes the topography uneven. The soil is volcanic and sandy loam. 

 

Flora

The reserve has an area of coniferous and broadleaved forests in different degrees of intervention. 105 species of flora have been reported, including trees, shrubs and herbs. The area records species of Nearctic and neotropical origin. It is fit to mention that in the list of flora only the chipe and some Arecaceas are included in the red list of Flora and Fauna.

Among the species that can be mentioned: Quercus Skinneri, Quercus Corrugata, Sauraruia Kegeliana Gushnay – Spathiphyllum phrynifolium Schoot, Oreopanax xalapensis – Mano de León, Pacaya Chamaedorea quetzalteca, Palo Jiote or Indio Desnudo – Bursera Simaruba, Capulín – Muntingia Calabura, Guachipilín – Diphysa Floribunda Feyritsch – Palo Pito, Erythrina Berteroana Urban, Cedro – Cedrella Mexicana, Contrahierba – Dorstenia Contrajerva.

Fauna

The presence of 240 species has been reported, including reptiles and mammals, and 107 species of birds, including some of which are endangered.

Eight (8) endangered species have been identified in the broadleaf forests of the volcanic chain which are: Myotis Californicus – Bat, Peromyscus Guatemalensis and Heteromys Nelson – Field Mice, Leopardus Weidii – Ocelot, Criptotis Merriami Dasypus Novemcinctus – Armadillo, and Rheomis Thomasi Sorez Veraepacis.

The owners have identified species such as the anteater – Mymecofaga Tridactilys, Spider Monkey – Atteles Geoffrovi, and the Water Mouse – Rodhenus sp.

Cultural Resources

Shreds belonging to the late Pre-Classic Period have been found in the area of Pachuj, namely cut obsidian in several parts of the reserve and its surroundings. Some customs have been observed in the past, including: a) Pacayina exchanged for vegetables and fruit during Holy Week with the community of Concepción, Sololá, and b) Baile del Venado or Los Negritos for Corpus Christi

Water Resources

The main tributary is made up rainfall and Lake Atitlan

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